If you have recently been involved in a car accident, it is possible you are still suffering from what is commonly referred to as whiplash. Whiplash is an injury that occurs in the neck after a sudden and drastic acceleration-deceleration force. In layman’s terms, this simply means that the patient’s head has been suddenly jolted forward and then instantaneously snapped back.
Following are the most important facts to know about whiplash.
Certain types of car accidents typically result in whiplash
According to some medical experts, you are likely to suffer from whiplash if you suffered from a rear-impact collision while moving. This is because upon impact, the lower bones in your neck or lower cervical vertebrae are forced into a hyperextension position while the upper bones in your neck or upper cervical vertebrae adapt a hyperflexed position. This results in your cervical spine taking on an abnormal S-shape, which in turn, damages the soft tissues that have been holding your cervical vertebrae together.
On the other hand, whiplash can also occur when involved in a motor vehicle accident wherein the car is struck from behind while it is not moving. In this case, both the head end neck get hyperextended backwards from the inertia of your torso being pushed forward. A moment later, the head and neck get thrown into a hyper-flexed forward position as they try to recover.
You can experience all kinds of symptoms physically and emotionally
If you are suffering from whiplash, it is common for you to experience pain in the neck, shoulder, jaw, arm, and head following the trauma. However, if you are suffering from what is known as whiplash associated disorder, you can also end up experiencing mood swings in the form of anger, anxiety and even depression. In some cases, this can even lead to drug dependency issues.
Recovery time from whiplash can be relatively long
Experts have found that some people take as long as five years to completely recover from their whiplash injury. On the other hand, one study conducted in 2005 found that as much as 71 percent of patients who displayed whiplash symptoms kept experiencing symptoms more than seven years after their accident.
If you were involved in a car accident in Vancouver, WA recently, get examined for possible whiplash injury. Remember that it is always better to treat it as soon as possible before the condition becomes severe. Always be proactive about your health, especially after experiencing trauma.
The fluctuation in recovery following whiplash injury 7.5-year prospective review, INJURY
The Long-term Effects of Whiplash After a Car Accident, Henry Carus Associates,
Whiplash, Mayo Clinic